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Mark Delph

Title & Organization:
Director, Real Estate, Fortune Brands, Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill.

Approximately 30 million sq. ft. (2.8 million sq. m.) of owned and leased facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

What does your company manufacture?
Fortune Brands is a consumer products company which is driven by powerful brands with commanding market positions in growing categories ... home products, office products, golf products, and distilled spirits and wines. The company's foundation is our portfolio of some of the world's most recognized, trusted and powerful brands including: Moen, the No. 1 faucet brand in America ... Titleist, the No. 1 ball in golf ... Jim Beam, the world's No. 1 bourbon ... Master Lock, the No. 1 padlock ... Pinnacle, Footjoy, Cobra, Knob Creek and Geyser Peak wines are some of our other brands.

To whom do you report?
SVP — Finance and Treasurer.

How many years have you worked in the profession?
13 years.

Where and what did you study?
I hold a Master of Real Estate Development degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I also have the Board Certification for Corporate Real Estate (BCCR), I am a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) of the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute and I hold the Master of Corporate Real Estate with Honors (MCR.h) from CoreNet Global. I have previously served on the Chicago Chapter Leadership Committee for CoreNet Global, the National Representation Committee for the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), and the Real Estate Advisory Board for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I am also an associate member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

      Describe the most important transaction or project for which you were responsible.
On the disposition side, as part of our office products business supply chain rationalization, I sold 40 percent of their square footage in a three-year period. On the acquisitions side, I am currently moving our world headquarters. On the incentives side, I completed the largest transaction in terms of number of new manufacturing jobs (750) in the western part of Virginia since World War II — that deal was done at the State House in Richmond, with Governor Warner at the table.

What is the biggest professional challenge you face on a regular basis?
We operate in an increasingly competitive global environment, with significant strategy implications driven by the convergence of politics, finance, culture, technology, national security concerns and ecological issues. We work hard to help our operating companies serve emerging markets better, respond to the growing emphasis on value in advanced countries, and reap the benefits of our scale and scope. Some of our operating companies have begun to strike out in bold new directions like outsourcing, entering new businesses, or developing product categories that others have shunned. In this environment we strive to help our operating companies accelerate the pace at which they build capabilities in core functions, because day-to-day execution is — and will remain — the most important factor for our success.

How is the role of Director of Real Estate evolving?
I think it is slowly evolving into a business strategy position, with the focus shifting to combining business processes and enhancing worker productivity. My responsibilities are evolving from just providing real estate assets to providing whatever integrated resources are necessary to enable work. The focus is also moving more towards eliminating redundancy and wringing costs from IT, HR, logistics, and sometimes operations as well as real estate.

Which technology do you consider to be essential in your professional life?
The Internet. We can compile data in a few minutes now that would have taken months ten years ago, if we could get it at all. This has allowed us to engage in much more analytical decision making rather than the "gut feel" we used in the past.

What is the value of IAMC membership to you?
We are a blue-collar company that manufactures widgets. I have found my peers at IAMC, and I am able to learn from their experiences and grow from the interaction.

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